Well we did it! And what a success!
(original report printed in WMA Bulletin, written by Tim Martin)
I’m pleased to say that we raised over £300 towards a Scholarship for an individual to go to The WMA Summer School at Wortley this year. Well done Birmingham Clarion Singers, well done everyone that performed, and well done all the people that generously came along to support the evening and to be a great audience.
The Concert had a true ‘International’ flavour as we were whisked around the world within a few short hours by our adept performers. We started the evening with our hosts Birmingham Clarion Singers taking us to the devastation of a Hiroshima/Nagasaki-like Holocaust with “The Sun is Burning” then in an instant we were in Germany in 1931 standing up to the Fascists with Brecht and Eisler’s ‘Solidarity’. Peace was restored as we were transported to the green fields of merry old England with the Moseley Village Band but before we could settle into a dreamy haze filled reverie we crossed the Irish Sea to hear Maria Caravanas enchant us with ‘My Lagan Love’ and then off to the East for a Russian song and even further afield to the Deep South of the USA for her excellent rendition of ‘I can’t help loving that Man’
Bourneville brass briefly brought us back to the UK before playing a Catalonian Tune, followed by a table thumping Wallace & Grommit Theme tune reminding us of Wensleydale – anyone for cheese? Our world tour continued soaring over the Andes to Chile where we heard magical songs, – Sadi and his friend told us that one song had been sung by Victor Jara, and was followed by a rousing song about Che Guevara.
Dave Campbell – eldest son of Ian Campbell – strode into the centre of the stage took our attention and sang to us all about ‘The Boll Weevil’ and then propelled us on another voyage in a tall sailing ship around the horn to Cuba – where there was piracy on the high seas with the ‘Flying Cloud’. Next we fought our way up through Italy with ‘The D-Day Dodgers’ and then back to North America for great depression with a Clarion favourite ‘Brother can you spare a dime”.
Pentland Brig – a smaller more folk based version of the Peace Makers sang about leaving Liverpool before Kevin and Phil played a beautiful African inspired song about Child soldiers. Finally we were back in blighty for a rousing ‘We’ll have a Mayday then’ and ‘The Horses Brawl’ (no meat jokes please).
The only bad thing about the night was that we had too many raffle prizes, I could see Sam – our resident host and comedian – losing the will to live, as yet another ticket was drawn out of the bucket – I’m sure the raffle went on for several days. But at least there were plenty of prizes to go round, Sorry to say Anne Lockyer didn’t win the ukulele she had set her heart on, her face was a picture as the person with the ticket drawn before her dithered and then waltzed off with it – looking as pleased as punch!
Even the mighty tome, the WMA bulletin, got a mention! A reference to David Martin’s excellent and hilarious letter from the last bulletin was made by Phil about his partner, Isla, who is famous for her come hither looks- she tried to get us all dancing, but alas the magic didn’t work! I’m afraid we were all too knackered from our world travelling!